Olga Barrios is a choreographer, dancer and teacher that has collaborated with dance, theatre, music and multidisciplinary companies in Canada, United States and Colombia.
Born in Bogota, Colombia where she studied Performing Arts – Dance Program at the Arts Academy and Advertising at the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano in Bogota. Olga also holds a MFA from Toronto’s York University 2010. She is co-founder and co-artistic director of Vanguardia Dance Projects in Canada since 2008. As a dancer and actress she has performed with numerous companies, among those, Marc De Garmo and Dancers (NY-USA), L’Explose (Colombia), The MT Space (Kitchener, Canada); Choreographer for companies such as Aluna Theatre (Canada), Wind in the Leaves Collective (Canada), between others. She has participated in many national and internationally festivals and events and has been invited as guest artist to several projects such as the artistic collaboration in an Asberg -Unesco Scholarship in Montreal- Canada in the year 2005.
As a dance teacher she has worked in Toronto, Hamilton, Kitchener, Montreal, San Francisco, New Jersey and various cities in Colombia.
As independent artists, Olga has created and produced several works, participating in different festivals in Canada such as Dance Ontario´s Dance Weekend; the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival; Impact Theatre Festival Kitchener; Hamilton Site Specific Festival ; Kultrun Festival, Panamerican Routes, Vibrant Colombia Diaspora Festival at Harbourfront Centre, Allende Festival, Ritmo y Color Festival at Harbourtfront, and Ffida among others events. Her recent internationally activities include: Latitudes Festival in New York, Alternative Theatre Festival of Bogotá, Festival Impulsos Bogota, Women on Stage for Peace Festival in Bogota; Festival Danza en la ciudad Bogota, Body Memory and Image multidisciplinary encounter Colombia.
Her professional career began was the co-creation of the contemporary dance company “BlancOscuro” in Colombia in 1996, receiving diverse awards. She then directed the experimental group of the “E.A.N” University in Colombia. Olga also lived in San Francisco and New York where she researched different dance movements. In San Francisco she worked for the Mission Cultural Center for the Latino Arts as Dance Theatre instructor for the children program. In New Jersey she coordinated the Dance program for kids at the “Progressive Language Institute”.
She has received diverse grants and awards from: 2017-19 FODCA (Colombia), 2011 Hamilton Arts Award in Performance. Creation grant/award Colombian Ministry of Culture 2014; OAC inter-arts creation grant 2011; OAC Access and Development grant 2010; IBERESCENA Spain/Colombia (Dramaturgy and Choreographic Grant Creation 2008); National Dance Awards Honorary Mention 2004– Colombian Ministry of Culture; Creation Grant at the Insólito Festival - Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo of Bogota; Best Solo Award Performance at V Contemporary Dance Festival of Bogota; Creation Grant - Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo de Bogotá; Best Duo Performance Award - University Contemporary Dance Festival of Bogota.
Olga is currently associate professor at the Universidad del Atlántico in Barranquilla Colombia, and she works with exchange projects between Canada and Colombia.